If I have a new job but it’s about 80 miles from my apartment, can this fact be used to get be out of my 6 remaining months?

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If I have a new job but it’s about 80 miles from my apartment, can this fact be used to get be out of my 6 remaining months?

I was laid off. I looked for jobs on the area but after 2 weeks of being unemployed I took a job that was 75 miles away. My new boss has a document stating all these facts. Am I able to get out of the lease with no fees due to the distance of my new job?

Asked on February 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

Frank Avellone / Law Office of Frank G. Avellone

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer depends, of course, on the law of your state.  In many states, this issue is controlled by what your lease says.  If the lease does not provide for early termination to accommodate a new job, then the question becomes: what are the consequences of your breaching and terminating the lease?  The "damage" to your landlord may be less than you think. 

For example, if you gave the landlord one-months notice of your intent to move, then in many states the landlord is now obliged to make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant ("mitigation of damages").  If the landlord does not make such efforts, then a court would limit what the landlord can collect from you. Also, if you have a security deposit on board, then this would compensate the landlord for all or some of its loss.  And finally, the landlord is not permitted to double dip:  it can't collect rent from a new tenant and seek "damages" from you for the same period of time. 

In short, when you do the math of breaching the lease and moving, you may find that you owe nothing or so little that it is not worth the landlord's time to sue for the balance of the lease. Cutting your losses starts with providing the landlord with written notice of your intent to vacate.  Contact a tenant's rights attorney in your state to find out more. 


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